Australia Open 2024: Prannoy, Aakarshi advance into quarters; Sameer Verma stuns ex-World Champion

Sydney, Jun 13 (IANS): Star Indian shuttlers H.S Prannoy, Sameer Verma, and Aakarshi Kashyap advanced into the quarterfinals of the singles competition while eighth seed B. Sumeeth Reddy and Sikki Reddy also reached the last-eight stage in the mixed doubles at the Australian Open badminton championships here on Thursday.

The fifth-seeded Prannoy defeated world No. 53 Misha Ztlberman of Israel 21-17, 21-15 in 46 minutes on Court 2 at Quaycentre in the BWF World Tour Super 500 series tournament.

With this win, the 31-year-old Prannoy, India’s top-ranked men’s singles player in this event, has set up a quarterfinal clash with world No. 6 Kodai Naraoka of Japan. This is the first time that Prannoy has progressed beyond the second round since making the semifinals at the India Open in January.

Verma stunned the better of former World Champion Loh Kean Yew of Singapore, the eighth seed, in a three-game thriller and won 21-14, 14-21, 21-19 in 62 minutes. He will take on world No. 17 Lin Chun-Yi of Chinese Taipei in the next round.

In other matches, Kiran George, ranked 35th, lost to world No. 11 Kenta Nishimoto of Japan in the second round. Despite putting on a strong fight in the first game, George lost 22-20, 21-6 in 49 minutes.

In women's singles, eighth-seeded Aakarshi beat Kai Qi Teoh of Australia 21-16, 21-13 in a second-round match that lasted 36 minutes. Aakarshi will face third-seeded Pai Yu-Po of Chinese Taipei in the last eight.

However, Aakarshi’s compatriots Malvika Bansod and Anupama Upadhyaya were knocked out in the second round. Malvika suffered a 21-17, 23-21 loss to seventh-seed Ester Nurumi Tri Wardoyo of Indonesia while Anupama went down to sixth-seeded Putri Kusuma Wardani of Indonesia 21-11, 21-18.

In the mixed doubles, Sumeeth and Sikki stormed into the last-eight stage with a 21-11, 21-11 victory over Kai Chen Teoh and Kai Qi Teoh of Australia.

Ranked 215th, Sumeeth and Sikki will next face top seeds Zhen Bang Jiang and Yo Xin Wei of China in the quarterfinals.

In the women's doubles, Rutaparna Panda and Swetaparna Panda, exited the event in the second round, losing to Lai Pei Jing and Lim Chiew Sien of Malaysia 21-5, 21-9 in 27 minutes.



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Title: Australia Open 2024: Prannoy, Aakarshi advance into quarters; Sameer Verma stuns ex-World Champion

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